Troms (pronounced [trʊms] (listen) or Romsa (Northern Sami) or (unofficially) Tromssa (Kven) is a county in northern Norway. It borders Finnmark county to the northeast and Nordland county in the southwest. Norrbotten Län in Sweden is located to the south and further southeast is a shorter border with Lapland Province in Finland. To the west is the Norwegian Sea (Atlantic Ocean).
The entire county, which was established in 1866, is located north of the Arctic Circle. The Troms County Municipality is the governing body for the county, elected by the people of Troms, while the Troms county governor is a representative of the King and Government of Norway. The county had a population of 161,771 in 2014.
Arnøyhøgda, Laukslettinden, Tjuvtinden and Rødhetta as seen over Skattørsundet in March 2012.
Troms within Norway
|• Governor||Elisabeth Aspaker |
|• County mayor||Knut Werner Hansen |
|• Total||25,877 km2 (9,991 sq mi)|
|• Land||24,884 km2 (9,608 sq mi)|
|Area rank||#4 in Norway, 8.18% of Norway's land area|
|• Rank||15 (3.33% of country)|
|• Density||6/km2 (20/sq mi)|
|• Change (10 years)||2.0 %|
|Time zone||UTC+01 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02 (CEST)|
|Official language form||Neutral|
|Income (per capita)||133,300 NOK|
|GDP (per capita)||211,955 NOK (2001)|
|GDP national rank||15 (2.11% of country)|
The county (and the city of Tromsø) is named after the island Tromsøya on which it is located (Old Norse Trums). Several theories exist as to the etymology of Troms. One theory holds "Troms-" to derive from the old (uncompounded) name of the island (Old Norse: Trums). Several islands and rivers in Norway have the name Tromsa, and the names of these are probably derived from the word straumr which means "(strong) stream". (The original form must then have been Strums, for the missing s see Indo-European s-mobile.) Another theory holds that Tromsøya was originally called Lille Tromsøya (Little Tromsøya), because of its proximity to the much bigger island today called Kvaløya, that according to this theory was earlier called "Store Tromsøya" due to a characteristic mountain known as Tromma (the Drum). The mountain's name in Sámi, Rumbbučohkka, is identical in meaning, and it is said to have been a sacred mountain for the Sámi in pre-Christian times.
The Sámi name of the island, Romsa, is assumed to be a loan from Norse – but according to the phonetical rules of the Sami language the frontal t has disappeared from the name. However, an alternative form – Tromsa – is in informal use. There is a theory that holds the Norwegian name of Tromsø derives from the Sámi name, though this theory lacks an explanation for the meaning of Romsa. A common misunderstanding is that Tromsø's Sámi name is Romssa with a double "s". This, however, is the accusative and genitive form of the noun used when, for example, writing "Tromsø Municipality" (Romssa Suohkan).
The coat of arms of Troms was made by Hallvard Trætteberg (1898–1987), and adopted by royal resolution on 15 January 1960. The official blazon in Norwegian ("På rød bunn en gull griff") translates to "On a field Gules a griffin [segreant] Or." Trætteberg chose to have the griffin as charge because that animal was the symbol of the mighty clan of Bjarne Erlingsson on Bjarkøy in the 13th century.
Troms is located in the northern part of the Scandinavian peninsula. Due to the long distance to the more densely populated areas of the continent, this is one of the least polluted areas of Europe. Troms has a very rugged and indented coastline facing the Norwegian Sea. However, the large and mountainous islands along the coast provide an excellent sheltered waterway on the inside. Starting in the south, the largest islands are: northeastern part of Hinnøya (the southern part is in Nordland), Grytøya, Senja, Kvaløya, Ringvassøya, Reinøy, Vannøy, and Arnøy. Some of these islands, most noteworthy Senja, have a rugged outer coast with steep mountains, and a more calm eastern shore. There are several large fjords that stretch quite far inland. Starting in the south, the largest fjords are Vågsfjorden, Andfjorden (shared with Nordland), Malangen, Balsfjord, Ullsfjord, Lyngen, and Kvænangen (fjord). The largest lake is Altevatnet in the interior of the county.
There are mountains in all parts of Troms; the most alpine and striking are probably the Lyngen Alps (Lyngsalpene), with several small glaciers and the highest mountain in the county, Jiekkevarre with a height of 1,833 m (6,014 ft). Several glaciers are located in Kvænangen, including parts of the Øksfjordjøkelen, the last glacier in mainland Norway to drop icebergs directly into the sea (in the Jøkelfjord). The largest river in Troms (waterflow) is Målselva (in Målselv), and the largest (not the highest) waterfall is Målselvfossen at 600 m (2,000 ft) long and 20 m (66 ft) high. Marble is present in parts of Troms, and thus numerous caves, as in Salangen and Skånland.
Located at a latitude of nearly 70°N, Troms has short, cool summers, but fairly mild winters along the coast due to the temperate sea; Torsvåg Lighthouse in Karlsøy has January 24-hr average of −1 °C (30 °F). Tromsø averages −4 °C (25 °F) in January with a daily high of −2 °C (28 °F), while July averages 12 °C (54 °F) with high of 15 °C (59 °F). Temperatures are typically below freezing for about 5 months (8 months in the mountains), from early November to the beginning of April, but coastal areas are moderated by the sea: with more than 130 years of official weather recordings, the coldest winter temperature ever recorded in Tromsø is −20.1 °C (−4.2 °F) in February 1985. The all-time high for Troms is 33.5 °C (92.3 °F) recorded in Bardufoss July 18, 2018. Thaws can occur even in mid-winter. There is often snow in abundance, and avalanches are not uncommon in winter. With the prevailing westerlies, lowland areas east of mountain ranges have less precipitation than areas west of the mountains.
Skibotn (elevation: 46 m or 151 ft) in Storfjord is the location in Norway which has recorded the most days per year with clear skies (no clouds). Winter temperatures in Målselv and Bardu can get down to −35 °C (−31 °F), while summer days can reach 30 °C (86 °F) in inland valleys and the innermost fjord areas, but 15 to 22 °C (59 to 72 °F) is much more common. Along the outer seaboard, a summer day at 15 °C (59 °F) is considered fairly warm.
|Climate data for Tromsø, Troms county, Norway 1961-1990|
|Average high °C (°F)||−2.2
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−4.4
|Average low °C (°F)||−6.5
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||95
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm)||13.7||12.8||11.9||11.2||9.9||11.4||13.4||13.1||15.5||17.1||14.8||15.1||159.9|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||3||32||112||160||218||221||205||167||92||49||6||0||1,265|
|Source: Norwegian Meteorological Institute|
The aurora borealis is a common sight in the whole of Troms, but not in summer as there is no darkness. As with all areas in the polar latitudes, there are extreme variations in daylight between the seasons. As a consequence of this, the length of daylight increases (late winter and spring) or decreases (autumn) by 10 minutes from one day to the next.
|11:31 – 12:17||08:16 – 15:43||06:07 – 17:41||04:43 – 20:48||01:43 – 23:48||Midnight sun||Midnight sun||03:44 – 21:50||05:56 – 19:20||07:54 – 17:04||09:25 – 13:32||Polar night|
|Source: Almanakk for Norge; University of Oslo, 2010. Note: The sun is below the horizon until 15 January in Tromsø, but the low sun is blocked by mountains and not visible until 21 January.|
Moose, red fox, hare, stoat, and small rodents are common in all of Troms county. Brown bears are sighted in the interior parts of the county in the summer. Other animals that can be seen are reindeer (interior mountain areas, with Sami owners), wolverine (interior mountain areas), otters (along the coast and rivers), lynx (in the forests), and harbour porpoises in the fjords. Sperm whales, killer whales and humpback whales are often seen in Andfjorden. Some of the common birds are ptarmigan, sea eagles, seagulls, and cormorants.
The sheltered valleys in the interior of Troms have the highest tree line (summer warmth and length is the limiting factor), with downy birch reaching an elevation of 700 m (2,300 ft) on the southern slope of Njunis; all over Troms county birch trees forms the tree lines, often 200 metres (660 ft) above other trees. Rowan, aspen, willow, grey alder, and bird cherry are common in the lower elevations.
Scots pine reaches an elevation of almost 400 m (1,300 ft) in Dividalen, where some of the largest trees are 500 years old. The upper part of the valley is protected by Øvre Dividal National Park, which was enlarged in 2006. In 2011, the Rohkunborri National Park (571 square kilometres or 220 square miles) was established in Bardu municipality, bordering Sweden and only a few kilometers south of Øvre Dividal National Park.
The inland valleys, like Østerdalen (with Altevatnet), Kirkesdalen, Dividalen, Rostadalen, Signaldalen, and Skibotndalen, are perfect for summer hiking, with their varied nature, mostly dry climate and not too difficult terrain, although there are many accessible mountains for energetic hikers.
Reisadalen is one of the most idyllic river valleys in Norway; from Storslett in Nordreisa the valley stretches south-southeast, covered with birch, pine, grey alder, and willow. The northern part of the valley is 5 km (3.1 mi) wide, with 1,200-metre (3,900 ft) high mountains on both sides; the southern part of the valley narrows to a few hundred metres (canyon), with increasingly dry climate. The valley floor is fairly flat with little height difference for 70 km (43 mi) (to Bilto); the Reisa river can be navigated by canoe or river boat for much of this distance. The salmon swim 90 km (56 mi) up the river, and some 137 different species of birds have been observed. Several rivers cascade down into the valley; the Mollisfossen waterfall is 269 m (883 ft). The valley ends 120 km (75 mi) southeast of Storslett, as the vast and more barren Finnmarksvidda plateau takes over. Reisa National Park protects the upper part of the valley.
The city of Tromsø, in the north central part, is the county seat and an Arctic seaport, and seat of the world's northernmost university, renowned for research about the aurora borealis. The University of Tromsø has an astrophysical observatory located in Skibotn (). Tromsø is the only municipality in the county with a strong population growth; most of the smaller municipalities experience decreasing populations as the young and educated move to the cities, often in the southern part of Norway. Harstad is a commercial centre for the southern part of the county, and has been chosen by Statoil as its main office in Northern Norway.
Along the coast and on the islands, fishing is dominant. Important ports for the fishing fleet are Skjervøy, Tromsø and Harstad. There is also some agriculture, especially in the southern part, which has a longer growing season (150 days in Harstad). Balsfjord is often regarded to be the most northern municipality with substantial agricultural activity in Norway, although there is also agriculture further north.
The Norwegian armed forces is a vital employer in Troms, having the seat of the 6th army division, Bardufoss Air Station, helicopter wings and radar stations in the county. There are hospitals in Tromsø (university hospital and main hospital for North Norway) and Harstad.
The busiest airport is Tromsø Airport. The southern part of Troms is served by Harstad/Narvik Airport, Evenes and Bardufoss Airport, and in northeast there is Sørkjosen Airport. The E6 cuts through the county from Nordland into Gratangen in the south to Kvænangen in the north and then into Finnmark. The E8 road runs from Tromsø to Finland via Nordkjosbotn and the Skibotn valley. There are several large bridges; some of the largest are Tjeldsund Bridge, Mjøsund Bridge, Gisund Bridge, Tromsø Bridge and Sandnessund Bridge. There are several undersea road tunnels; Rolla to Andørja (in Ibestad), Tromsøya to the mainland (Tromsø), Kvaløya to Ringvassøya and Skjervøy to the mainland. The roads are well maintained, but have to go long detours around fjords. For this reason passenger boats are fairly popular, for example between Tromsø and Harstad, and there are also commercial flights inside Troms.
There is no railway in Troms. But the government of Finland has expressed interest in building a railway from the Finnish rail network to port facilities at Skibotn, although they point out that they can't finance much of the cost.
|Source: Statistics Norway.|
Troms has been settled since the early stone age, and there are prehistoric rock carvings at several locations (for instance Ibestad and Balsfjord). These people made their living from hunting, fishing and gathering.
The first of the current ethnic groups to settle in the county were the Sami people, who inhabited Sapmi, an area much larger than today's Nordland, Troms and Finnmark counties. Archeological evidence has shown that a Norse iron-based culture in the late Roman Iron Age (200–400 AD), reaches as far north as Karlsøy (near today's Tromsø), but not further northeast.
The Norse with their iron and agriculture settled along the coast and in some of the larger fjords, while the Sami lived in the same fjord areas, usually just into the fjord and in the interior. From the 10th century, Norse settlements start to appear along the coast further north, reaching into what is today the county of Finnmark.
Southern and mid-Troms was a petty kingdom in the Viking age, and considered part of Hålogaland. Ottar from Hålogaland met King Alfred the Great around 890. The Viking leader Tore Hund had his seat at Bjarkøy. According to the sagas, Tore Hund speared King Olav Haraldsson at the Battle of Stiklestad. He also traded and fought in Bjarmaland, today the area of Arkhangelsk in northern Russia . Trondenes (today's Harstad) was also a central Viking power centre, and seems to have been a gathering place.
The Kven residents of Troms are largely descendants of Finnish immigrants who arrived in the area before the 19th century from Finland because of war and famine. They settled mainly in the northeastern part of Troms, in the municipalities of Kvænangen, Nordreisa, Skjervøy, Gáivuotna - Kåfjord and Storfjord, and some also reached Balsfjord and Lyngen.
Troms county currently has a total of 24 municipalities.
Altevatnet (Norwegian) or Álddesjávri (Northern Sami) is Norway’s 11th largest lake. The 79.71-square-kilometre (30.78 sq mi) lake lies in the Bardu Municipality in Troms county, Norway. The lake is the largest lake in the county. It is approximately 38 kilometres (24 mi) long and about 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) wide. The lake is regulated by a dam on the northwestern end of the lake. The surface lies 489 metres (1,604 ft) above sea level and reaches a maximum depth of 99 metres (325 ft) below the surface of the lake.The lake lies about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from Sweden and it is located right between the two national parks: Øvre Dividal National Park and Rohkunborri National Park. The water discharges to the north into the Barduelva river, which empties into Målselva river, which in turn empties into the Malangen fjord.Diocese of Nord-Hålogaland
Nord-Hålogaland (Norwegian: Nord-Hålogaland bispedømme) is a diocese in the Church of Norway. It covers the Church of Norway churches in Troms and Finnmark counties as well as in the territory of Svalbard. The diocese is seated in the city of Tromsø at the Tromsø Cathedral, the seat of the presiding bishop, Olav Øygard (bishop since 2014).Elisabeth Aspaker
Elisabeth Aspaker (born 16 October 1962) is a Norwegian politician for the Conservative Party and she is the current county governor of Troms county. She was also the Minister of European Affairs from 2015-2016 and Minister for Nordic Cooperation since 2013. From 2013 to 2015, she also served as Minister of Fisheries.She was elected to the Norwegian Parliament from Troms in 2005. She previously served as a deputy representative to the Norwegian Parliament during the terms 1989–1993 and 1997–2001.
From 1986 to 1990 she was the deputy leader of the Norwegian Young Conservatives. During the cabinet Syse, she was private secretary (today known as political advisor) in the Ministry of Justice and the Police. During the second cabinet Bondevik, she was appointed political advisor in the Ministry of Education and Research before being promoted to State Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Care Services in 2004.
On the local level she was a member of Harstad municipal council from 1991 to 1995, and of its executive committee from 1999 to 2001. From 1991 to 1999 she was a member of Troms county council, serving as deputy county mayor beginning in 1995.
Before entering politics, she worked as a teacher. Aspaker was educated at Tromsø lærerhøgskole and Harstad University College, both of which today is a part of the University of Tromsø.Geavdnjajávri
Geavdnjajávri is a lake in Bardu Municipality in Troms county, Norway. It's located inside Rohkunborri National Park, just 3.5 km (2.2 mi) from the border with Sweden. The lake has an area of 18.85 km2 (7.28 sq mi) and is 540 m (1,770 ft) above sea level.The lake empties in the river Gulmmaeeatnu, which flows into the lake Leinavatn, then to the lake Altevatnet. Altevatnet empties into the river Barduelva which flows into the river Målselva.Harstad
Harstad (Norwegian) or Hárstták (Northern Sami) is the second-most populated municipality in Troms county, Norway. It is mostly located on the large island of Hinnøya. The municipal center is the town of Harstad, the most populous town in Central Hålogaland, and the third-largest in all of Northern Norway. The town was incorporated in 1904. Villages in the municipality include Elgsnes, Fauskevåg, Gausvik, Grøtavær, Kasfjord, Lundenes, Nergården and Sørvika.
The 445-square-kilometre (172 sq mi) municipality is the 227th largest by area out of the 422 municipalities in Norway. Harstad is the 45th most populous municipality in Norway with a population of 24,820. The municipality's population density is 57.9 inhabitants per square kilometre (150/sq mi) and its population has increased by 5.1% over the last decade.Leinavatn
Leinavatn (Norwegian) or Lenesjávri (Northern Sami) is a lake on the border between Norway and Sweden. It is almost entirely located in Bardu Municipality in Troms county in Norway, but a very small area crosses over into Kiruna Municipality in Norrbotten County in Sweden. The lake's area is 28.32 square kilometres (10.93 sq mi) and it sits at an elevation of 491 metres (1,611 ft) above sea level. Its shoreline measures 62.83 kilometres (39.04 mi).Lille Rostavatn
Lille Rostavatn (Norwegian) or Vuolit Rostojávri (Northern Sami) is a lake in Målselv Municipality in Troms county, Norway. It is part of the Rostaelva river system which empties into the great Målselva river. It is located about 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) east of the village of Skjold.List of churches in Troms
This list of churches in Troms is a list of the Church of Norway churches in Troms county, Norway. The churches are all part of the Diocese of Nord-Hålogaland along with the churches in Finnmark county. The diocese is based at the Tromsø Cathedral in the city of Tromsø.
The list is divided into five sections, one for each deanery (prosti) in the diocese. Each prosti is led by a provost (prost). Administratively within each deanery, the churches are divided by municipalities which have their own church council (fellesråd). Each municipal church council may be made up of one or more parishes (sokn), each of which may have their own council (soknerådet). Each parish may have one or more congregations in it.List of islands of Norway
This is a list of islands of Norway sorted by name. For a list sorted by area, see List of islands of Norway by area.List of municipalities of Norway
Norway is divided into 18 administrative regions, called counties (fylker in Norwegian, singular: fylke), and 422 municipalities (kommuner/-ar, singular: kommune – cf. communes). The capital city Oslo is considered both a county and a municipality.
Municipalities are the atomic unit of local government in Norway and are responsible for primary education (until 10th grade), outpatient health services, senior citizen services, unemployment and other social services, zoning, economic development, and municipal roads. Law enforcement and church services are provided at a national level in Norway.
Municipalities are undergoing continuous consolidation. In 1930, there were 747 municipalities in Norway. As of 2018 there are 422, and there are plans for many other mergers in 2020 along with much political pressure to do so. See the list of former municipalities of Norway for further detail about municipal mergers.
The consolidation effort is complicated by a number of factors. Since block grants are made by the national government to the municipalities based on an assessment of need, there is little incentive for the municipalities to lose local autonomy. The national policy is that municipalities should only merge voluntarily, and studies are underway to identify potential gains.Lysvatnet (Lenvik)
Lysvatnet (Norwegian) or Čáhppesjávri (Northern Sami) is a lake in Lenvik Municipality in Troms county, Norway. The lake lies in the Helvetesdalen valley on the island of Senja. The 6-kilometre (3.7 mi) long lake covers an area of 3.67 square kilometres (1.42 sq mi). The lake lies about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) west of the village of Gibostad.Martin Henriksen (Norwegian politician)
Martin Henriksen (born 5 January 1979) is a Norwegian politician.
He was born in Trondheim and grew up in Harstad. From 2006 to 2010 he chaired the Workers' Youth League. He serves as a deputy representative to the Parliament of Norway from Troms during the term 2009–2013. In May 2011 he was appointed as a political adviser in the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, as a part of Stoltenberg's Second Cabinet.Niingsvatnet
Niingsvatnet (Norwegian) or Meahccejávri (Northern Sami) is a Norwegian lake that lies high in the mountains on the border of two municipalities: Evenes in Nordland county and Skånland in Troms county.The water from the lake flows through a pipe down to the hydroelectric powerstation near the village of Bogen in Evenes. The powerstation is owned by Evenes Kraftforsyning and is situated at almost 500 m (1,600 ft) lower than the lake Niingsvatnet. The water from the powerstation then flows into the Strandvatnet lake. A short river goes from Strandvatnet past the village of Bogen to the Ofotfjord.Prestvannet
Prestvannet (Norwegian) or Báhpajávri (Northern Sami) is a small lake in Tromsø Municipality in Troms county, Norway. The lake sits at the highest point on the central part of the island of Tromsøya inside the city of Tromsø. Prestvannet was built up as a reservoir in 1867, and continued in that function until 1921. Since then it has been used as park land and a nature reserve.
The pond area, just next to a big city has been preserved as a nesting place for various birds. The pond and its surrounding wooded area is an important natural area for the Tromsø area. Encircling the pond, is a track commonly used for recreational activities and sports, as well as a nature trail with plaques informing about the local wildlife. In the winter, the frozen pond is a popular place for ice skating.Rihpojávri
Rihpojávri or Riehppejávri is a lake which lies in Storfjord Municipality in Troms county, Norway, just to the south of European route E8. The lake is a reservoir that has a dam on the north end. The water leaving the lake flows into the Rihpojohk river which then flows into the Skibotnelva.Rostojávri
Rostojávri (Northern Sami), Råstojaure (Swedish), or Store Rostavatn (Norwegian) is a lake on the border between Norway and Sweden. The Norwegian side of the lake is located in Målselv Municipality in Troms county and the Swedish side of the lake is located in Kiruna Municipality in Norrbotten County. The Norwegian part of the lake lies inside Øvre Dividal National Park. The lake lies at an elevation of 680 metres (2,230 ft) and covers a total area of 34.24 square kilometres (13.22 sq mi); with 3.67 square kilometres (1.42 sq mi) located in Norway and the remaining 30.57 square kilometres (11.80 sq mi) are located in Sweden.Torgeir Knag Fylkesnes
Torgeir Knag Fylkesnes (born 4 June 1975) is a Norwegian politician for the Socialist Left Party. He was elected to the Parliament of Norway from Troms in 2013 where he was member of the Standing Committee on Education, Research and Church Affairs until December 2015 when he moved to the Committee on Business and Industry.Tromsø Airport, Langnes
Tromsø Airport, Langnes (Norwegian: Tromsø lufthavn, Langnes; IATA: TOS, ICAO: ENTC) is an international airport located at Langnes in the city of Tromsø in Tromsø Municipality, Troms county, Norway. Situated on the western shore of the island of Tromsøya, it features a 2,447-meter (8,028 ft) runway aligned 01/19. Owned and operated by the state-owned Avinor, Langnes handled 1,910,692 passengers, 43,219 aircraft movements and 2,758 tonnes of cargo in 2014. This makes Tromsø the fifth-busiest airport in the country.The airport opened on 14 September 1964, replacing Tromsø Airport, Skattøra, a water aerodrome. Tromsø became and still is the main hub for Widerøe's regional flights to Finnmark. Main haul flights to other primary airports were carried out by Scandinavian Airlines (SAS). Braathens SAFE and its Busy Bee subsidiary operated from Tromsø from 1967 to 2002. Norwegian Air Shuttle has flown from Langnes since 1992 and Lufttransport has its main operating base at Tromsø. The current Terminal B was built in 1977. Terminal A opened in 1997, following a period with a 240-meter (790 ft) runway extension and a new control tower.Šuoikkatjávri
Šuoikkatjávri is a lake in the municipalities of Kvænangen in Troms county and Kautokeino-Guovdageaidnu in Finnmark county, Norway. The somewhat S-shaped lake is about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) long and is only about 900 metres (3,000 ft) wide. It serves as the reservoir for the Cårrujavrit Hydroelectric Power Station.